The Truman Show: The Shooting Script

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9781557043672: The Truman Show: The Shooting Script

Jim Carrey is Truman Burbank, the most famous face on television, only he doesn't know it. He is the unwitting star of a nonstop, 24-hour-a-day documentary soap opera called The Truman Show, with every moment of his life broadcast to a worldwide audience. Everyone around him is an actor. He is a prisoner in a made-for-TV paradise. This is the story of his escape.

Rarely has a first-time collaboration between a writer and director produced such a stunning result. In this book, both Niccol and Weir's lively talents and creative force come to light, as each contributes some highly original material to amplify the brilliant107-page shooting script, reproduced here in facsimile. Niccol has given us another version of The Truman Show, in photos and captions—in effect, our very own photo album. For his contribution, Peter Weir chose to let us in on the intricately detailed, often hilarious "backstory," which he wrote as part of his preparation, and eventually shared with the cast and crew during production. Also included are complete cast and crew credits.

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Review:

Jim Carrey is getting smarter and smarter. The crude, rich clown took far less than the $20 million he could have gotten in order to star in Peter Weir's film The Truman Show, which made the covers of Time and Entertainment Weekly as "The Year's Best Movie." Carrey plays Truman Burbank, a man whose entire life has been a hit TV docudrama without his knowledge. This screenplay (by Gattaca author Andrew Niccol) is required reading, and the 35 good-quality color stills from the film in the photo album at the center of the book are nicely laid out with helpful, intelligent captions.

But The Truman Show: The Shooting Script also offers something not found in theaters: the back-story to the script, written by director Weir, who has never been weirder. It was so important to the creation of the movie that Weir actually hired Harry Shearer to help create a "mockumentary"--a documentary on the making of the movie. The mockumentary was scrapped, though a few scenes wound up in the finished film; what Weir gives you here is the whole prequel, "A Short History of The Truman Show." It tells how Christof (played by Ed Harris in the film), a promising, idealistic, Oscar-winning documentarian concerned with homeless people, conspired with shady ex-NASA operatives and the terrifying Omnicam Corp. to create a fake town full of actors and imprison the unsuspecting child Truman Burbank in it by messing with his head. For instance, they made Truman afraid of water so that he wouldn't swim away from his "home." It's a trip--and it just might provide a peek into certain dark crannies of the mind of Oscar-winning director Peter Weir. Just because you've seen The Truman Show, you don't know everything in this book. --Tim Appelo

About the Author:

Andrew Niccol, a New Zealander, wroteThe Truman Show before turning his hand todirecting. Gattaca, also an original screenplayby Niccol, was his feature film directingdebut—a science fiction drama about geneticdiscrimination.

Academy Award® nominee Peter Weir previouslydirected Witness, Dead Poet's Society,Picnic at Hanging Rock, Gallipoli, The Year ofLiving Dangerously, The Mosquito Coast, andFearless. He lives in Australia.

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